Friday, 3 July 2009

Prepress meet

Many of the 20 former employees of the decimated Toronto Sun ad builders/prepress department will gather later this month for a delayed wake.

Prepress employees laid off since last September represented approximately 422 years of service with Sun Media and 334 years for ad builders, says Randy Miller.

"There are only 12 people left in Prepress from the 32 that had originally started in the union," Randy tells TSF.

Randy and others feel the prepress employees laid off haven't been given the same exposure as other Toronto Sun layoff casualties.

When they meet later this month, there will be venting and a renewal of the camaraderie they shared at the Sun for decades.

"I feel the most disappointing thing of this is the belief that we were overpaid and behind the times in being able to produce the product our clients wanted," Randy says.

"Production over the years was the most efficient in the industry and cutting edge in the evolution of this aspect of the industry. We were the barometer to which other papers measured their performance.

"Many of our people came to us directly from high school, college, or university and this was the only job they had. It is hard to pickup from this. The company was fair in the treatment of the exit of its employees, but still, for some, the divorce is traumatizing.

:I understand that most of us do not regret our career at the Sun and that most of the new creative and talented generation that is to follow will never have the opportunity to enjoy the dynamics this industry once had in relation to employee management relations and the camaraderie that made the Sun the success story that its founders had envisioned."

Andrew Balfour was a 35-year TorSun composing/prepress employee when laid off last April. He is still looking for work.

Andrew, who provided TSF with the Don Hunt photo, says a gathering of layoff casualties is needed to vent and to share the memories of the glory years at 333.

He says there hasn't been much mentioned about the prepress layoffs and suggests profiles of all 20 casualties be posted on TSF.

TSF can do that, Andrew. Round up the bios in time for your gathering and we will give you all your earned recognition.


  1. Love to know when and where the composing send off will be. Some great guys there over the years...from cut and paste on up to computers.
    All the best to guys like Randy Miller and Andy Balfour...I have never heard much about what happened to that section of the Sun staff since I left in 2001. So if you guys post a date and a venue...I would love to know where and when.
    Linda Fox

  2. Younger, more talented people who were efficient at producing quality ads in a timely manner WERE underpaid compared to many of the senior builders.
    Compositors were made into ad builders without any skills or knowledge of many of the pertinent programs that needed to be used. Just because somebody was turned from Compositor to an Ad Builder does not mean they suddenly became creative. This was a negative issue for many sales reps whose clients who were looking for better quality ad design. By letting the younger ones go, the quality of ads suffered in the newspaper.
    I would guess joining the union didn't help either now, did it?